All the elements are there—glamour, greed, sex, betrayal, murder—in this sensational saga of a lethal family feud that spanned three decades. Add in a cast of A-list actors and actresses, who deliver over-the-top performances as the schemers and dreamers of the Gucci clan.
Lady Gaga plays Patrizia Reggiani, a vintage gold digger who brazenly pursues shy, gawky Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver). Despite the warnings of his father (Jeremy Irons), Maurizio stands by Patrizia and marries her, willingly giving up his share of the family fortune.
Determined to play the long game, Patrizia settles for a temporary modest life in Italy. All that changes when Uncle Aldo (Al Pacino) visits and gifts the young couple with a pair of Concorde tickets to New York.
Maurizio reluctantly agrees to resettle in New York and join the family business. Ecstatic, Patrizia helps herself to all the perks: free shopping sprees at the Gucci boutique in Manhattan, a company apartment, and an expanded social circle. With the help of a television psychic (Salma Hayek), Patrizia schemes to cut Aldo and his son Paolo (Jared Leto) out of the picture.
But kind, shy Maurizio is slowly waking up to the ways of power. He begins to resent what Patrizia is doing to his family and is no longer willing to participate in her schemes. Adam Driver expertly demonstrates these shifts of character, allowing us to see the emergence of a new ruthlessness in Maurizio.
The implosion of their marriage, financial losses, and an execution-style murder follow.
For the most part, I enjoyed the film but struggled with the accents. Several accents sound Eastern European or Russian to me (I’m of Italian heritage). I believe the fake accents were unnecessary and succeeded only in jolting me out of the storyline.
The movie plays like a real-life Dynasty/Dallas/Falconcrest (popular soap operas from the 1980s). Other descriptors include “icepick docudrama,” “showcase of excess,” and “fashionista Godfather Lite.”
My advice: Prepare yourself for over 2.5 hours of melodrama set across the spectacular backdrops of St. Moritz, Lake Como, Milan, and New York City.